MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was going through a Hardee’s drive-thru after ordering a burger and chocolate shake when he was approached by the FBI.
That’s according to Daily Beast politics reporter Zachary Petrizzo, who has more details of the FBI’s seizure of Lindell’s phone while he was at a Hardee’s restaurant last week.
“I had heard from Mike that he ended up ordering a Swiss burger with a chocolate shake,” Petrizzo tells hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Andy Levy on this episode of political podcast The New Abnormal.
“He was going through the drive-thru. He was pulling up to the first window and the first window told him, ‘Hey, Mike, you know, you gotta move forward, we’ll get your meal out to you in a minute.’”
Petrizzo says Lindell had already paid when he pulled up to the second window and a “bunch of FBI vehicles pull up behind him, [to the] side of him, and box him in.” Initially, Lindell believed he was watching a “skit from a movie” or “possible attackers,” Petrizzo says.
“He gets out of his car, sticks his head out the door, and says, ‘Who are you? Show me your badges.’” The FBI then approached Lindell in the middle of the Hardee’s drive-thru and showed him their credentials.
“Mike Lindell’s pretty hesitant,” Petrizzo explains, adding the MyPillow CEO went “back and forth with them for a while… trying to tell them about Jesus Christ and all this type of stuff, trying to convert them and… telling them about all the ‘evidence’ that he has about the 2020 election.” After hearing him out, the FBI finally seized Lindell’s phone.
Petrizzo says the bureau’s investigation centers around Tina Peters, the Colorado election official who allegedly tampered with voting machines. Lindell has been “Tina Peters’ closest adviser,” according to Petrizzo, allegedly helping to stash her away in secret locations.
“The investigations are really heating up, and Mike Lindell’s really at the center of it.”
Also on the podcast, Iuliia Mendel, former press secretary to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and author of the new book The Fight of Our Lives, discusses what it was like meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time.
Mendel was part of Zelensky’s team during the first face-to-face meeting between Putin and Zelensky in Paris in December 2019, when the Ukrainian president had been in power for just six months. The pair met in hopes to stop the war in eastern Ukraine that had been raging, at that point, for more than five years.
“I was scared. We were sitting there and watching how the fate of our country was negotiated. I was really nervous and Zelensky was preparing hugely, more than he prepared for any other meeting I’ve seen, for this meeting,” Mendel says.
“I thought Putin was so outdated. He was like, from the past, he had an outdated worldview, outdated thoughts, outdated behavior, outdated wording. It was like the atmosphere of the past.
“He developed this image of a strongman, of a dictator. Everybody thinks that he is very strong in negotiations, but it’s absolutely wrong, he’s absolutely [a] weak negotiator for the reason that for the last 23 years, he never negotiated anything. He just was ordering. He doesn’t like when people contradict, he doesn’t like when people oppose, he just orders and expects that his orders are implemented.
“So negotiations were not his great side. And he never agreed to the next meeting with Zelensky.”